Big Savings On Gas While You Travel

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Here are some ways to save money on gas:

* Switch to synthetic motor oil. It reduces engine friction and may make your car a little less ravenous at the gas station. (There are brands available claiming 5%-20% increases in fuel economy.)

* Use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil. Manufacturer specs are based on what is best for your specific vehicle.

* Buy gas with the recommended octane rating. Premium can actually be detrimental to many engines.

* Fill up during the coolest times of day. You get more gas in each gallon, because liquids expand in the heat. The pumps are measuring gallons, not weight.

* Make sure that the gas cap is tight after you fill up. Gas evaporates easily – you can lose an appreciable amount through an improperly seated cap.

* Check your tires before your holiday and inflate them to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Underinflated tires create drag and increase gas consumption. Always carry a tire gauge in your glove compartment.

* Never drive on bald tires! Besides being unsafe, they also increase fuel consumption.

* Don’t leave your engine idling for long periods of time. This includes pre-warming – one minute is all you need. Start off slowly, then use normal speeds after a couple of minutes.

* Don’t continually start and stop your engine. Each start burns about the same amount of gas as one minute of idle time.

* Drive the speed limit on highways – speeding devours gas. Activate your cruise control whenever possible, and when cruise is not engaged remember the ‘egg’ trick: drive like you have a raw egg between the floorboards and the gas pedal.

* Stop lights in cities are usually set to synchronize with the posted speed limit. Drive the speed limit and you are more likely to hit a long series of green lights. Stopping at red lights increases idle time and gas consumption.

* Drive in a way that entails minimal use of the brakes.

* Don’t pack more than you need. The more weight you carry, the more gas you use.

* Decrease wind resistance. A car caked with mud, snow, or ice will cause drag and burn more gas than a sleek, clean vehicle.

* Don’t use the air conditioner unless necessary. Vehicle air conditioners increase fuel consumption.

* Pamper your vehicle by ensuring that it goes in for regular tune-ups and maintenance. Slight adjustments can mean dramatic fuel savings. Ask the maintenance people to add fuel injector cleaner whenever the oil is changed.

* Some communities have websites that post fuel prices at local gas stations. Do your research before you leave to find out where the cheapest stations are. Use common sense: driving too far out of your way will gobble up more gas than you save. Try gasbuddy.com (USA and Canada) and your favorite search engines.

* If you own a gas guzzler, try trading with a relative or neighbor for a smaller vehicle while you vacation. (Make sure that insurance policies on both vehicles are in order first.)

* Use your feet! Once you get to your destination, walk whenever possible. Walking is how you really get to know an area.

Save money, save the environment – and have more cash to spend on your vacation!

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